Creatures on the Moon
August 25, 1835 - It was on this day that the New York Sun published the first of six articles detailing the amazing discovery of life on the moon.
The stories told of an incredible array of creatures including unicorns and half-man, half-bat monsters:
We counted three parties of these creatures, of twelve, nine and fifteen in each, walking erect towards a small wood... Certainly they were like human beings, for their wings had now disappeared and their attitude in walking was both erect and dignified... About half of the first party had passed beyond our canvas; but of all the others we had perfectly distinct and deliberate view. They averaged four feet in height, were covered, except on the face, with short and glossy copper-colored hair, and had wings composed of a thin membrane, without hair, lying snugly upon their backs from the top of the shoulders to the calves of their legs.
Miraculously, all of this was visible through a new cutting-edge telescope operated by famed astronomer Sir John Herschel.
Unfortunately, the lens of the telescope was so powerful that it inadvertently magnified the sun's rays and caused a fire that destroyed the entire observatory. And that was an end to the reports on the cool creatures milling about on the moon.
Written by a mysterious author named Dr. Andrew Grant, who claimed to be Herschel's protege, the articles helped boost the New York Sun's subscriptions and circulation to record levels.
Shockingly, it all turned out to be a hoax. Turns out that Dr. Andrew Grant never existed and Sir John Herschel vehemently denied any involvement.